Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Trevor Prescod, planting a tree at Hope Plantation, St. Lucy, to mark the start of We Plantin’ More Than A Million National Tree Planting Project yesterday. (S.Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

The plan is for a million trees to be planted by the end of 2020, but the goal is to be “more than a million”.

Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Trevor Prescod, stated this today at the commencement of the We Plantin’ More Than A Million National Tree Planting Project, at Hope Plantation, Hope, St. Lucy.   

He said he is “overwhelmed and full of enthusiasm” regarding the ambitious project and believes it will not only meet its target of one million trees being planted, but will “overshoot” the projected target.

Stressing that the project is not a partisan exercise, Minister Prescod urged everyone to support the national effort and join the Barbados Government in achieving one of its plans to build sustainability, resilience and food security against the current and pending effects of climate change.

Calling on every individual to make an effort to be part of the initiative, the Minister responsible for the environment said: “While we continue to plant every day in our lives from here on to the end of the year, apart from what is organized at the central level of the Ministry of the Environment, we’re asking individuals to plant a tree.”

Noting that small island developing states (SIDS) contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions, Minister Prescod pointed out that SIDS are the “most vulnerable” to the effects of climate change, for example rising sea levels,  and an increase in hurricanes and super storms.

He remarked that Barbados and other Caribbean and Latin American countries were making a more positive and ambitious effort to reduce the environmental threats to their survival.

Mr. Prescod asserted that the We Plantin’ More Than A Million National Tree Planting Project “is our collective responsibility to mankind, but moreso to ourselves. 

This is a matter of self-reliance, the collective consciousness of the people of Barbados in this exercise; we are saving ourselves and to ensure that we remain on the face of the earth living on a 166 square miles”.

He added that the Government of Barbados is committed to the preservation of all life here on the island and future generations to come, and encouraged the public to “stay the course” and assist however possible in helping the project to reach its target.

With the help of members from the Barbados Defence Force, Barbados YouthAdvance Corps, staff of the National Conservation Commission and Soil Conservation Unit, and the St. Paul’s Anglican Church, over 2,000 trees will be planted at Hope, St. Lucy.

Also today, 500 trees were scheduled to be planted at the National Botanical Gardens in St. Michael and Searles Plantation in Christ Church. Some of the trees being planted included Neem, Mahogany, Baobab, African Tulip, Ficus, Barbados Olive and Palms, soursop, ‘tall’ golden apple, mango, pomegranate, ‘acid’ tamarind, coconut, soursop and surinam cherry fruit trees.

For further information on the project and to notify the Ministry of efforts towards the target, the public may call 536-8733. 

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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